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Network Utility Maximization Based on Information Freshness

posted on 20.04.2022, 18:32 by Cho-Hsin TsaiCho-Hsin Tsai

It is predicted that there would be 41.6 billion IoT devices by 2025, which has kindled new interests on the timing coordination between sensors and controllers, i.e., how to use the waiting time to improve the performance. Sun et al. showed that a controller can strictly improve the data freshness, the so-called Age-of-Information (AoI), via careful scheduling designs. The optimal waiting policy for the sensor side was later characterized in the context of remote estimation. The first part of this work develops the jointly optimal sensor/controller waiting policy. It generalizes the above two important results in that not only do we consider joint sensor/controller designs, but we also assume random delay in both the forward and feedback directions.

The second part of the work revisits and significantly strengthens the seminal results of Sun et al on the following fronts: (i) When designing the optimal offline schemes with full knowledge of the delay distributions, a new fixed-point-based method is proposed with quadratic convergence rate; (ii) When the distributional knowledge is unavailable, two new low-complexity online algorithms are proposed, which provably attain the optimal average AoI penalty; and (iii) the online schemes also admit a modular architecture, which allows the designer to upgrade certain components to handle additional practical challenges. Two such upgrades are proposed: (iii.1) the AoI penalty function incurred at the destination is unknown to the source node and must also be estimated on the fly, and (iii.2) the unknown delay distribution is Markovian instead of i.i.d.

With the exponential growth of interconnected IoT devices and the increasing risk of excessive resource consumption in mind, the third part of this work derives an optimal joint cost-and-AoI minimization solution for multiple coexisting source-destination (S-D) pairs. The results admit a new AoI-market-price-based interpretation and are applicable to the setting of (i) general heterogeneous AoI penalty functions and Markov delay distributions for each S-D pair, and (ii) a general network cost function of aggregate throughput of all S-D pairs.

In each part of this work, extensive simulation is used to demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed schemes. The discussion on analytical as well as numerical results sheds some light on designing practical network utility maximization protocols.


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Chih-Chun Wang

Additional Committee Member 2

Xiaojun Lin

Additional Committee Member 3

Sanjay Rao

Additional Committee Member 4

Nicolò Michelusi